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Adult Contemporary

Kristin Chenoweth

Winning Broadway’s 1999 Tony Award is a great honor for Kristin. A little girl who just loved to sing, Kristin’s musical gifts were discovered early. Growing up in a strong Christian family, she clearly remembers at eight years old accepting Jesus at Vacation Bible School and knowing what she was doing. “I knew I wanted life with Jesus,” she says.

Getting to Broadway from Broken Arrow, Okla., is a far more unpredictable story. Kristin became interested in musical theater at age 14. She spent years singing in church and was recognized early for her musical gifts. She sang at the Southern Baptist Convention, various churches, before crowds of thousands.

At 14 she was trying to figure out what to do with her music, trying to decide if she was a missionary or a musician. She knew the Lord had put a love for musical theater in her heart. Yet even with all the acclaim, Kristin knew she had to get her degree because her Dad said so. She went on to study at Oklahoma City University as a lyric coloratura soprano, earning a bachelor’s degree in musical theater and a master’s degree in opera performance.

After college, she entered the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She was awarded a prize that led to a full scholarship for post-graduate study at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. “I was going to be an opera singer. I thought that was it,” she says. But on her way to Philadelphia, things really changed!

Just two weeks prior to entering the Vocal Academy, Kristin went to visit a friend in New York City. While there, kind of on a lark, she went along with her friend to an audition. “They said, sing and then dance. I did both,” she said. “Who’s your agent?” they asked. Well, Kristin didn’t have one and said they would have to talk to her Dad. The director then gave her some great advice, saying that she was gifted and to get serious about it.

Kristin went home to talk to her parents. She knew what she wanted now, and that was to do musical theater. Plans for the Vocal Arts Academy went out the window.

From that point on Kristin’s career took off, and she’s been fortunate to have gone from one performing job to another. She also received acclaim at each step. She won the Tony Award in 1999 for her role of Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She won raves on Broadway in the comedy Epic Proportions and in 2004 won rave reviews and another Tony nomination for her starring performance in the blockbuster musical Wicked, which is based on the Wizard of Oz.

She sang the role of Cunegonde in the New York Philharmonic’s 2004 concert performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, which PBS’s Great Performances aired in January. She also co-starred with Matthew Broderick in ABC TV’s classic musical, The Music Man, and starred in ABC’s TV movie of Annie.

Today Kristin has a budding film career, appearing in Bewitched, starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. She also appearred with Steve Martin and Kevin Kline in a revival of the “Pink Panther” films.

Kristin says the Lord has granted her wonderful grace and favor on her career. She’s never really had to go looking for her next job. While she was in L.A. working on Bewitched, she was contacted by NBC for the recurring role of Annabeth Schott on the highly rated drama The West Wing.

Though Kristin once contemplated how to use her music as a missionary or musician, two years ago her Mom told her she was a missionary in one of the hardest places -- the entertainment industry. Kristin agrees. People watch you, she says. You have to be mindful of what you do.

Kristin’s love for the Lord always made her want to serve Him wherever He placed her. She says she knew He put this love of music in her heart for a reason.

“One of the things I’ve always wanted to accomplish as an entertainer is to let people know there are real people in the real world trying to be what God wants them to be,” she says.

She really wanted to make this inspirational CD which includes contemporary songs, traditional hymns, and gospel favorites. “Making this record has been such a huge blessing for me, so I hope people are uplifted and encouraged by it,” she says.


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